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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Little Smiles Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cancer, Children & Youth, Humanities, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion, Youth Development

Mission: The kids range in age from newborns to young adults in local hospitals, hospices, and shelters. Most of the children we assist have life altering illnesses although we review and honor as many requests as possible in an effort to assist all children that need relief. Our requests are facilitated through the nurses, social workers, and healthcare professionals who work hands on with these children and have a unique insight into each child''s needs. This empowers us with the ability to customize wishes on an individual basis and get the children what they need most.

Target demographics: children with chronic illness and unfortunate circumstance

Geographic areas served: South Florida

Programs: Little Smiles is a 501c3 charitable organization that strives to fulfil the needs for toys, games, videos, computers, outings, special events, limousine transportation, concert and sporting event tickets, specialty dinners and celebrity meet and greets for children in local hospitals, hospices and shelters. Qualification of a Little Smiles candidate is simply any child residing in a local hospital, hospice or shelter who depends upon the above items and services to make their time in treatment more tolerable and enjoyable. Little Smiles is launching a year-round multi-dimensional effort to enhance the lives of ailing and life altering illnesses children in South Florida.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While we all wish to contribute, there are many deserving organizations and our time is precious. As such, I am always thoughtful about the efficiency ratios on resources expended to raise funds, the staff to volunteer ratios, the breadth of the programs created or supported and how funds are distributed. I have volunteered for several organizations over the years and am extremely pleased on all counts to be supporting Little Smiles. They deserve high marks in each of these categories.

Review from Guidestar

1 Nancy E.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently participated in a Little Stars astronomy night art project. The kids were temporary residents in hospital-grounds housing where they were preparing for limb correction procedures. They romped and played in spite of their hardware and crutches, while their Dr. showed each one the planets and stars through the telescope he brought. They had a great time painting planets and posing for selfies in front of a constellation backdrop. I was incredibly fortunate to witness the magic that the Little Smiles team in partnership with amazing nurses and caregivers brings to kids who, with a little help, can feel special and joyful in spite of their circumstances.

Review from Guidestar

4 Vanessa21

Client Served

Rating: 5

While my grandson was going through chemo and radiation treatments, Little Smiles was there to brighten his day. They provided a stocked 'junk food' drawer of snacks and crackers and juices, sometimes that is all that Cameron would eat during his stay at the hospital. Little Smiles would bring in toys and entertainment for the kids and somebody could usually get a smile out of Cam, when he was feeling really yucky and drained. Whenever I had the opportunity to speak or meet with one of the Little Smiles people, they always made me feel like we mattered and took the time to listen, no matter what I was talking about.

4 Victor8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with such compassionate and dedicated people from Little Smiles is such a blessing. Their hard work shows on the faces of our dear children. We love you guys!!

3 Kimberly79

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of working with Little Smiles when a family in my community needed them most. The family had a young son that was in the midst of a battle with Pancreatic Cancer. They not only did small and grand gestures for this child to bring him just a little joy as he lay in hospital and hospice beds - but through the experience I learned how much they do for MANY wonderful deserving families and children in need.
They are a world class organization with the most genuine of hearts.

3 Tracy N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Recently my small charity Garden of Hope reached out to Little Smiles Josh Daniels to help us with a beautiful brain tumor survivor's wish to go sky diving. Within a couple of weeks we were standing in a small field with friends and family preparing to watch our girl jump from a plane. At the last minute her father was asked to join her in this exciting endeavor. This event not only made a young girl show how brave and strong she is but helped our small charity grow.

The staff of Little Smiles were professional and caring. I would love to work with them in the future.

Thank you
Garden of HOPE
Tracy Newfield-Founder

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Little Smiles is a phenominal organization that supports our pediatric oncology patients througout their battle with cancer and sickle cell anemia. This organization is profoundly kind and assists our team providing necessary joy, normalicy and opportunities to enrich their recovery periods. Whether it is monthly pizza parites for our entire Children's Hospital, specific wishs from patients to ease their admission(i-pads, computers, photographic equiptment or trips inbetween chemo therapy I can't imagine our program without Josh Daniels and his wonderful team at Little Smiles.They are a cornerstone for our suport services and we are honored to partner with them!

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Little Smiles always brings incredible staff and volunteers to our hospital and makes these patients smile and be so happy! Little Smiles is an incredible organizaiton that delivers exceptional care and love for patients and families. Whenever we have a need, Little Smiles go above and beyond to make our kids happy. We are so fortunate to have them involved with our hospital!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Little Smiles consistently goes over and above in meeting kids' needs and requests! Throughout the year, if a need arises, we know just who to turn to. Their generosity provides our kids in foster care some amazing summer vacation activities that bring them such excitement! As the one who organizes these requests, it has been my pleasure to partner with such a professional, genuine and caring team.

3 Kelly125

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I got to spend time with one of the kids who is a Little Smiles kid. We took him and a friend of him surfing before he was to have a surgery that may keep him from ever surfing again. The Little Smiles board member who organized it is very caring and is a huge asset to this organization who is making lasting changes for children!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Smiles of children are a precious gift. The dedication of this group to erase fears, and provide joy to children and their family's is life changing to witness.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an RN working with the pediatric population, I've witnessed many happy faces and smiles on our pts, thanks to the time, generosity and sincere caring of the volunteers with Little Smiles. I've known the founding members for many years and have never seen a request from a pt. denied. Thanks so much from the nurses at St. Mary's Medical Centre for all that you do for pts. everywhere !

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I have been involved with this organization for the last 3 years now. Just really amazing what they do for these kids. The stories will break your heart. And most of all, the joy that this organization brings to these kids and what they provide for them, really gives you the total picture of what an organization does to truly help our children in need.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little smiles is an unbelievable organization in our community. I have had the opportunity to witness the huge difference they have made in so many children's lives. The joy they are able to bring to these kids and their families is life changing to all involved and I've seen it inspire so many to continue to do good.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization gives comfort, fun, and smile to children when they need it most.
I love seeing them host parties in the children's ward of local hospitals and safe houses.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of attending a few of the events and have seen first hand the joy they bring to these children's faces. What a great organization and I recommend you take the time to get to know them. What they do for these kids is life changing.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have seen Little Smiles make a huge difference in not just the patients lives, but supporting the entire family when dealing with serious medical conditions. Sometimes it's not always about what you "give" but the way you give the support that matters most. The entire crew from Little Smiles is there day in and day out making sure a family can focus on health matters and lessening the burdens of simple chores that pile up as families deal with medical issues.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Little Smiles has done so much for the kids that are patients in Plantation General Hospital. They fill our treasure chest with toys and surprizes, provide fun snacks. send us socks, sippy cups, tee shirts, DVDs ...all for the kids in our hospital. As a manager in the hospital, I have requested many itemns over the last few years and have they have always said yes. They bring "Smiles" to the kids and the staff at PGH.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a single mom with three children and I just met Barbara Jean with Little Smiles just weeks ago but I feel like I have know her forever. What a very caring person. She makes me feel (no matter what I am helping her with) like I helped her move mountains. This foundation is amazing and they help change lives for sure. I feel very lucky to have met these people with this foundation and would help with my time whenever I can.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been involved in the many fund raisers, from the golf outings to the Gala's each and every year held in their honor. There is no way to describe the over-whelming joy I receive when watching the faces of these children gleem with excitment upon exiting a Lemo onto a red-carpet with hundreds of fans shouting their names and taking pictures. They are stars for a night and warriors for life. The board-members, volunteers and nurses who make a difference in these childrens lives is magic, truely inspirational. I cannot begin to say enough for this charity. There is no better cause than giving these kids a reason to smile.

2 lynnfarmer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We are blessed to have this organization in our community. While Palm Beach County has great wealth, it, too, has great need. As a Pediatric nurse, I, like my colleagues are directly involved in caring for a very diverse population. For many children, the hospital is a second home. Little Smiles provides the diversion from the treatments, medications and endless days spent in the hospital. Kids can be kids, even for an afternoon of Nerf Wars, a slice of pizza, a special toy to make the medical goals they achieve even sweeter. There are so many ways this amazing group of professionals bring a smile to the face of a child. For a child, their "job" is to play, and Little Smiles gives them permission to be a kid. On behalf of all the children that have no voice, and all those that will find their voice through Little Smiles, this nurse is grateful, thank you.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a Pediatric nurse for many years. In that time I have been witness to many situations where a child has had to face an event or illness many adults would fear. Little Smiles has been right there with us for a number of those years, offering comfort in ways only they can provide. Whether we need an IPAD to enable a child to communicate, a toy to provide diversion for a long stay or the 3AM snack for the newly admitted child. The nurses have been supported to provide comfort for children, many facing life threatening conditions and those that have had a traumatic event, and the patients that have faced extended admissions lasting months. Little Smiles is amazing, and always there to support the nurse and patient to achieve the same goal. We are blessed to have Little Smiles. So, may I say, on behalf of all the children that have no voice, and all those that will find theirs through LIttle Smiles, thank you, thank you, thank you!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Although we help on very limited basis and we wish we could do more... this is one of the greatest, most incredible, and best charities out there. Words truly cannot describe the enormous and arduous work of the volunteers to bring cheer to the hearts of the little smiles.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I have watched "Little Smiles" grow from just a couple of guys that I met when Scott Anderson coached my son in ice hockey. From the Original "Video's for Kids" to what they have grown to become.....It's heartwarming to see the kids that have benefitted over the years. The true essence of what I look for in a charity!! They make a big difference in the lives of children in need. They fill a gap that may be otherwise overlooked , if not for the humane nurse's that bring them together .

2 Mengie M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Mengie M. and I'm 18 years young. I had the blessing of knowing the Little Smiles Organization when i was in the hospital. This experience happened about 3 years ago, and it's one that I will carry with me forever. This is Such a Loving and Caring group of people. They made my stay at the hospital so special.. and that may sound a little strange but that's just the effect they have.
Thanks so much Little Smiles

3

Donor

Rating: 2

Great cause. These kids need the love and support. The volunteers are great. The board and paid staff leave something to be desired.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Little Smiles... My daughter was diagnosed with cancer the first time at the age of 5. She is now 8 years old and a two time survivor. Little Smiles has been there since the first day. Especially Glenn. My daughter is very quiet and shy but he brought out the best in her and still does to this day. Times have been hard but they always made sure she was happy and that I was alright. Seeing Glenn was all that she ever needed to smile and he made sure he visited her as often as he could. Besides Glenn, Little Smiles has done so much not only for my daughter but for other children and families throughout the hospital. I will never forget the junk food runs where they would give all the kids junk food (which they loved) and the nerf gun fight while having chemo; just to get our minds off everything. From the Stars Ball that had my daughter feel like a princess to what they do everyday. They help kids. They help the families. They are there when you think no one else is. They are like family and I am grateful they have helped us and will forever support what they do.

2 Dottie M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Dottie McGinn, I am a pediatric nurse who started with the charity in the beginning stages. I was the founding nurse for Little Smiles at Bryn Mawr Hospital in Bryn Mawr, Pa. They have exceeded our expectations and brought many smiles to both our nurses and patients. I have since left Bryn Mawr Hospital, however, they continue to give to our children and grant our nurses their wishes. They never hesitate to fulfill their requests. I now work with children with Autism and love what I do. My husband, Joe McGinn, and I continue to go to the Star Ball and contribute to the cause. The smiles on these children's faces and the parents are amazing to watch. It truly is magical. I thank Little Smiles for all you do. These children have struggles no child should have to endure and this evening makes those troubles disappear for one night. The nurses who care for them are fulfilled and happy to see these children in this light. Thank you also for remembering and granting the nurses wishes. This helps us as nurses make our care for them so much easier and is comforting to us.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart and I'm sure I speak for all of the other nurses out there.
Dottie McGinn RN,BSN,CSN

2 Glenn W.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am very proud to be the sitting Vice President of this wonderful organization. It is far more than a Charity to me and for me because of the fact that we are involved, hands on and in my opinion, effective in bringing huge smiles to children who suffer the simplest of injuries that might require hospitialization, to the most serious. We interact with the Nurses, ChildLife Specialists, Staff and the kids and their families and I actually get to witness the impact of our donor's gifts, be they monetary or an actual gift. One day I met this amazing young man named Chip Donahue, the founder of Little Smiles who did a presentation at a club I was a member of. I was so intrigued that I couldnt wait to see what I could do to help. That turned into meeting some outstanding Nurses, Child Life Specialists and kids that maybe wouldnt have had such a great day were it not for the generosity of others. I met and got to know the families of these children, witness their struggles and had them share their concerns with me. I got to see true courage in children who through no fault of their own were born with dibiliating illness like Cancer. I have seen the smiles and shared them. I have seen the tears and shed them. But above all else, no matter what the outcomes were, I have seen the smiles and enjoyed them. I would not trade the experiences I have had as a friend of Little Smiles, a member of the Board of Directors and now the VP, for anything. I share my passion with some truly wonderful and giving people who give freely of their time and resources to just make a child smile. The greatest gift of all. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this and for those of you who took the time to read it, I thank you more because of you and your gracious hearts, I know that we will create more smiles for more children.

2 Tanya10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Smiles is one of the most amazing groups of people I have ever spent time with. They really care about the childrem, the nurses, and the families. They know, by making a child smile, you can make the parent smile even bigger, especially when they are affected by something medically. When my son is in the hospital, and they come to the doorway of his room, He lights up !! That makes my heart smile !! Thank you for all you do !!

2 Mary185

Client Served

Rating: 5

I became a pediatric oncology nurse, after my daughter was successfully treated for leukemia. I have first hand seen the smiles brought by a much needed change in menu, during a pizza run. At one point, the only thing my daughter would eat was pizza! So, pizza is what she got! As a peds onc nurse, I have had the pleasure of waking mothers up from their slumber to announce that we have coffee provided by Little Smiles and fresh hot donuts. I have contacted them personally when we had a few basketball enthusiasts as patients during the last NBA finals, only to find a grand buffett complete with decorations and a "cheerleader" to the enjoyment of the patients and their families. Little Smiles brings BIG smiles to the patients and staff they serve. We are extremely lucky and proud to know them all! THANK YOU LITTLE SMILES! WE LOVE YOU!

2 Chip D.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It is great to see both a child and a nurse smile.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went to Palms West Hospital pediatric floor on a "Junk Run". We had loaded up a little red wagon full of ice cream choices and candy of all sorts. We traveled down the hall and one little girl sitting up in her bed, maybe 2 years old, hoses & wires attached to her, but for a moment she didn't know what we were doing, a little apprehensive, then the orange ice cream popsicle was unwrapped and her eyes got big and the Biggest Little Smile ever was revealed. You could see happiness in her eyes as she tasted the cold popsicle and for a moment she was having some fun. I had the privilege to visit several rooms that day with our team of volunteers. I think it was the best therapy for me as well as the children. God Bless Them and the folks at Little Smiles for the good work they do everyday!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

A few years ago I went to Palms West Hospital for a Nerf Gun Fight. We entered a small room that had beds with little kids all hooked up to machines, someone called it the "Chemo Room." We carried in a couple boxes of big Nerf guns, darts and goggles. The kids too weak to walk sat up in bed and others got to “unplug” and run around. The next thing I knew the room was full of screaming and laughing and the air was full of Nerf Darts! I don’t know who had more fun, me or those kids. I’ve been on the Board of Directors for Little Smiles since that day!

2 Lenyce B.

Donor

Rating: 5

What an INCREDIBLE organization! I have been a donor and volunteer for Little Smiles since 2006.
I am sure you know what joy, excitement (the kind where you shake) feels like – that’s what I have seen and felt from the children from the “Junk Food” runs, helping children get ready for the Star’s Ball and various other events.

I have personally witnessed the professionalism, compassion, and pure sincerity of the nurses, volunteers and Board members who work with Little Smiles. I and so many others are grateful to Little Smiles for all they do for the community and the sick children and families who are in such need during an incredibly trying time.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the great opportunity to volunteer for Little Smiles. Everyone from volunteers, Board Members and nurses are such amazing fun people. It is my privilege to be a volunteer for this organization.

This is a local organization that offers smiles and lifting up spirits for children and families in hospitals, hospice and shelters. It's not necessarily just giving big tickets items but also acknowledging the small things in life like eating pizza, playing nerf gun wars, eating junk food... being a kid.

Little Smiles offers many fun community charity events. There is always ways to support this organization whether its giving of your time or money. Anyone can join and make a positive impact for the kids and families in these situations.